It has been less than a month since the first official Release Candidate for Windows 7 was opened for public consumption, now it appears the all new operating system will be set to make its debut on October 22 2009.
Microsoft Corp. announced the date the latest version of the Windows operating system, Windows 7, will be in general commercial availability: Oct. 22 according to sources from the Wall Street Journal.
The milestone comes amid intense pressure on the world’s largest software maker to reverse its perceived missteps with Windows 7′s predecessor, Vista, and as evidence mounts that computer makers are increasingly considering alternatives to its ubiquitous operating system.
“We feel confident that we will deliver Windows 7 with our partners on Oct. 22,” Bill Veghte, senior vice president for Microsoft’s Windows business, said.
While the date confirms Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft will be able to get the latest version of its most important product onto retailer’s shelves and into manufacturer’s computers by the all-important holiday season, it also means the company will miss some opportunity to get the product into the hands of school children and students going back to school in the fall.
Windows generated around one-third of Microsoft’s $60 billion in 2008 sales and is on more than 90% of the world’s personal computers. Microsoft has been under unusual pressure to deliver a smooth launch for Windows 7 to avoid some of the glitches which affected its predecessor, Windows Vista.
Vista’s launch, in late 2007, was dogged by compatibility problems with other software applications and components, and many corporate customers avoided the product, saying it required costly hardware upgrades, preferring to rely on an earlier version of the operating system, Windows XP.
With Windows 7, Microsoft also needs to address another growing challenge, the growth of the so-called “netbook” computer. Sales of these small, low-cost machines, designed for lightweight computing, have soared over the past two years, appealing to cash-strapped consumers, and Microsoft has been less successful in persuading the computer manufacturers to bundle Windows with the machines than it has with the larger desktop and laptop makers.
This week at a computer show in Taiwan, Acer Inc. (2353.TW), the world’s third-largest computer maker by revenue, said it will launch a low-cost computer that runs on Google Inc.’s (GOOG) Android operating system.
While Microsoft’s Windows is still expected to ship on the overwhelming majority of low-cost netbooks, Acer’s move is seen by some analysts as prefiguring a trend towards building computers which rely less on proprietary software operating systems, posing a particular challenge for Microsoft.
Veghte said that notwithstanding Acer’s experiment with Google, Microsoft’s hardware partners were “betting heavily on Windows 7.”